A Multi-Functional Lower- And Upper-Limb Stroke Rehabilitation Robot

Chloe Nicholson-Smith, Vahid Mehrabi, S. Farokh Atashzar, Rajni V. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is estimated that about 15 million people a year suffer from stroke worldwide, with 5 million stroke survivors experiencing permanent motor disability requiring therapeutic services. It has been shown that early involvement in rehabilitation therapies has a desirable effect on the long-term recovery of patients. There are, however, several challenges with the current state of delivering rehabilitation services, including limitations on the number of clinics, financial needs, and human resources. Robotic systems have been proposed in the literature to help with these challenges. However, most of the existing robotic systems are expensive, not-portable, and cannot be used for both upper- and lower-limb rehabilitation. This article presents a 3-DOF robotic device that has been designed to deliver both upper- and lower-limb therapy and incorporates a novel mechanical safety mechanism. The device is capable of teleoperation which makes it particularly suitable for telerehabilitation in the current COVID-19 environment. The rehabilitation robot can deliver therapy in assistive and resistive modes to aid patients at all stages of recovery. In the assistive mode, the robot's motion provides input to help the patient in completing the therapy task, while in the resistive mode, the robot opposes the motions generated by the patient thereby requiring additional muscle actuation. The robot has been tested by physiotherapists to assess its validity in a clinical setting, and by healthy participants to assess its functionality, safety, and engineering design. The study found that 80% of the physiotherapists agreed the platform has the potential to improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9241822
Pages (from-to)549-552
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Rehabilitation robotics
  • in-home rehabilitation
  • lower- and upper-limb post-stroke rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Optimization
  • Biomedical Engineering


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